Michael enjoys first three years in the area engineer spotlight
AFTER NEARLY three years in the hot seat as area engineer of Greystones, Michael Tinsley looks back on his post with fond memories.
Prior to 2005, the Dublin man had worked with other local authorities such as Kildare County Council and so entered the role with some experience behind him.
As area engineer, the role required Michael to take charge of a large number of departments that spanned a good part of County Wicklow.
‘Working with local authorities you usually work in just one department such as water but as area engineer not only was I covering a number of departments but the area of land covered was also much bigger,’ explained Michael, ‘I wasn’t just covering Greystones, the area included Delgany, Kilcoole, Enniskerry, an area where a lot of the counties population live.’
But Michael rose to the challenge and admits that, as a Dub, at the beginning he did have to familiarise himself with the geography of Wicklow but within a few months he had everything in hand.
As area engineer, Michael was aware that the job would come with its criticisms.
And yes there were the complaints yet it is the kind letters and emails that he received during the three years from residents in Greystones and the surrounding areas that thanked him for the good work done that he remembers most.
‘During my time in Greystones we did a lot of work on the paths, widening them and smoothing them and quite often I would get a letter from a resident thanking me for fixing the path outside their house. It was always great to get those letters, they meant that people noticed the hard work done by the town council,’ said Michael.
It is the work of a great team that Michael attributes the achievements made while he was area engineer.
‘It is a very small office and the office and outdoor staff work very well together. I always knew that no matter when I rang the office I would always be able to get someone at the other end of the phone,’said Michael.
It was during the recent flooding in Greystones that Michael saw the team really pull together at a time when it was needed the most.
‘It was a Saturday when the floods hit and the outdoor staff were off and a few of them were even on holidays but they came down on their day off and helped out handing out sandbags etc, so that really shows what a great team I had the pleasure of working with.’ Very soon into taking the job, Michael began to realise that not a single day as area engineer is the same.
While he found the job very demanding and more often than not extremely busy Michael enjoyed the challenge and the out of the ordinary roles that he often took on.
On St. Patrick’s Day last year Michael found himself acting as a judge at the parade.
A role he that he will never forget and had a great time doing.
Michael was also very proud of helping the kids at Colaiste Chraobh Abhann with a National Roads Authority project with which they won a national prize for their entry.
‘I never thought that as area engineer I would find myself doing things like judging a parade but I have to say it was great fun and I am very glad to have had those opportunities.’
After almost three years Michael was offered a promotion in Wicklow County Council as Senior Engineer in Water Services Capital Projects Office.
Included in the schemes that Michael has set the ball rolling is the bringing of the area surrounding the train station up to a high standard by putting underground cabling and making the space more accessible to pedestrians.
‘I’m looking forward to the work starting at the train station. We had landscape architects look at the space and work should start next year. I also wish I had had more time to improve the conditions of the park there too because it really has a lot of potential,’ said Michael.
At last week’s Greystones Town Council meeting the members had a small presentation for the man who wasn’t afraid to say no to them. During his time Council members began to realise that Michael would be honest and tell them out straight if he couldn’t get the funding for a scheme.
This earned him respect but more importantly as Cllr Kathleen Kelleher put it Michael managed the paper.
In otherwords if there wasn’t the money there he seeked the grants to get the funding he could. It was because of this prudence that the Greystones area benefited greatly during his reign as area engineer.
Greystones mayor George Jones makes a presentation to Town Engineer Michael Tinsley.